Day 4: Discovery Den’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Finale

The fourth and final day of Pandora’s SXSW Discovery Den was heavy with diversity and ended with one of Austin’s heaviest hitters. Four days of hard work, some sweat, some rain, a lot of BBQ and so, so much music came to it’s grand finale last night.

Here are some of the highlights…

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Zella Day introduced herself telling the audience that they’re “…very badass for standing in the rain.” The packed crowd reciprocated her love and modesty with hoots and hollers. If I had to compare Day to someone it would be a younger Aimee Mann and some of her songs have a beautiful darkness that sounds very informed by Fiona Apple. Her set opened with “The Outlaw Josie Wales,” a swooning, soaring amorous pop song that compares her muse to Clint Eastwood’s iconic western anti-hero. The standout song for me was “Milk & Honey,” it had the bouyancy of sunny California indie-pop. Another standout was her closing song, “Hypnotic,” a sultry insta-hit with a hard and heavy groove.
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Americana Burned Through The Rain On Day 3 Of Discovery Den

Americana fans are troopers, they braved the hard, pouring rain. It was awesome to see a bunch of people still digging it as if the sun was out and shining. And I can understand why, every one of these acts set the stage on fire.

Here’s a bit of what happened on Day 3 of Discovery Den…

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Before the rain came down, Andrew Combs set the tone in more friendly Austin weather. From the first verse of the first song, he and his band reminded me of early Whiskeytown, but more sophisticated and studied. He’s blending a lot of old school country and soul into his own tone. He sound-checked with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” from Nashville Skyline, but he didn’t play it live. Would love to hear his full take on that one. Combs’ rhythm section was solid.
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Discovery Den’s Hip-Hop and Soul Came Out For Day 2

Day two of #PandoraSXSW showed the soulful side of R&B, powerhouse hip-hop and lots of hands in the air. Discovery Den’s second day featured huge crowds onstage and off and ended with Wyclef Jean singing from the balcony.

Here’s some of what happened…

GG2A2592Raury brought dynamic drama to the stage.His full band, complete with keytar, drums, bass and back up singers joined him onstage. Raury turned out out arena quality rock, thought provoking folk, rap and heartfelt soul all in one set. We got to know him well, he introduced the audience to his dog and wore an outfit that set the tone for revolution.
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Discovery Den Went Electronic On Day 1

The weather decided to cooperate on day one of Pandora’s Discovery Den, in the daytime the sun brought out the soulful side of electronic music and the warm night brought even more dancing.

A few highlights include…

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The Seattle duo ODESZA concocted  their signature sound of pitched R&B vocals with lush beats from controllers and live drumming on the side.  Highlights of the set included their heavy remix of ZHU‘s “Faded” and the crowd went wild when they dropped their hit “Sun Models.”
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